#NextLevel: Netflix allows 'Black Mirror' fans to choose their ending
'Black Mirror' is a Netflix favorite that explores the dangers of technology while raising philosophical questions through its standalone episodes. The Emmy winning show is returning for its fifth season in December 2018. While this news alone has fans excited, Netflix is adding another fascinating aspect to the show. Viewers can control how the story turns out in one episode. Read about it here.
'Black Mirror' and the death of the author
'Black Mirror' is effectively giving viewers the ability to control the story. This interactive episode will let viewers arrive at their endings of choice. Notably, show maker Charlie Booker had the idea for the episode 'Playtest'. However, what did not work out then, has uncannily come to fruition now. Further, only one 'Black Mirror' episode is supposed to allow viewers this freedom till now.
The thematic relevance of an interactive show
'Black Mirror' often shows the wonders and dangers of technology. However, most episodes show the underlying conflict between applying human consciousness and technology-assisted automated living. Thus, making the show interactive ties in perfectly, as viewers can exert their consciousness against the technology portrayed in the show. Possibly, in a 'Black Mirror' like twist, the episode might just prove to viewers that choice is an illusion.
The platform that makes this possible
Netflix can take 'Black Mirror' in this radically new direction with relative ease. This is primarily because they are an online streaming platform. Therefore, to include choices in their episodes is rather simple. Based on the choices, the streaming video will change, thus taking the viewer on their unique narrative journey. Perhaps this signals a change in television shows entirely.
Completely new territory for television shows
Interactive shows are slowly becoming mainstream. Netflix already has a show called 'Puss in Book', where viewers can choose to fight a god or tree. They have also reached an agreement with Telltale Games about an animated Minecraft show. With HBO having taken Steven Soderbergh directed 'Mosiac' in the interactive direction and released a standalone app, it signals a change in television shows' future.